RE-PUBLICATION OF THE SPEECHES
JUDGE J. S. PIRTLE
HON. E. J. McDERMOTT
Masonic Temple, Friday, August 25, 1893.
SHOWING CHARLES D. JACOB AS
PARTY LINE MAN,
AN ALLEGED ECONOMIST,
AND AN INGRATE,
AND THAT HE SHOULD NOT BE ELECTED MAYOR.
JUDGE PIRTLE'5 SPEECH.
Fellow-citizens of the City of Louisville, and more especially my Fellow-citizens of
the Ward in which I live:
I very cheerfully accepted the invitation on behalf of the Tyler Club of the
Sixth Ward to appear before you to-night and in brief, simple terms tell you
why I, as a business man, shall vote for Henry S. Tyler for Mayor. (Applause.)
I saw in the paper yesterday morning that Charles D. Jacob said that he
represented the respectable people of the city of Louisville, and that the other
side he was fighting was a clique which had so long been in possession of power
here. I wish he were here to-night to look into the faces I look into, that I
might ask him if there were no respectable men supporting Henry S. Tyler.
I wish to draw no invidious distinctions, I shall make no comparisons, but I
would like to go through this community from beginning to end and call the
men two by two, one for Jacob and one for Tyler, and see which was the best
crowd. But I care nothing for Mr. Jacob's arrogance, I care nothing for his
bad temper, I care nothing for the fact that he makes this a personal contest and
looks upon all men who differ with him as ingrates. If he were tlie best man
for the place, if he would make a better Mayor than Henry S. Tyler, I would
forgive him his faults. But, gentlemen, I can not compare the two men and for
an instant concede that he is the equal of Henry S. Tyler for Mayor of this
city. (Applause.) It is true that he has had twelve years' experience as your
chief magistrate, and that Mr. Tyler has had but three, but in those three he has
shown himself in every respect that makes a good Mayor the superior of Charles
D. Jacob. (Applause.)
There are many reasons why Democrats should support Henry S. Tyler.
There is one reason that I could not get over in favor of Mr. Jacob or any other
man. I believe in the old Democratic doctrine, I believe in the practice of the
Democratic party, which has always rewarded by re-election good and faithful
service. (Applause.) Henry S. Tyler three years ago, when announcing him-
self as a candidate for the position of Mayor, promised you a clean administra-
tion. Has he given it to you? He certainly has. He promised an economical
administration; and I shall assure you before I leave this stand that he has given
you a cheap administration; that he has given you an administration such as we
never yet have seen in thecity of Louisville until his time. (Applause.) He further
promised you that he w r ould live within his income, and that at the end of his
administration the citizens who gave him money to spend should not find that he
had spent all that had been given and spent more. You find that all the bills
for 1891 have been paid; not a dollar remains unpaid of all the debts which
accrued in 1891. The bills for 1892 have been rapidly paid, and there are now
good assets in the hands of the Treasurer to pay every dollar of those. Almost
the last days of his administration have come, and there are no new debts to be
created, and in the hands of the City Tax Collector there is a surplus of sixty
and odd thousand dollars of certainly convertible assets; so that at the end of
his administration Mr. Tyler will have kept his word to the very letter. He
will have been a true, a faithful, and honest Mayor. He was the first regular
Democratic nominee for Mayor. For the first time the party put up its own
candidate, and I say here to you as a Democrat, believing that Mr. Tyler has
fulfilled all the requisites for office that Thomas Jefferson required, that he has
been honest and capable, he is entitled to a re-election at the hands of the Demo-
cratic party. (Applause.)
JUDGE PIRTLE'S SPEECH. B
No man in the community should have stood up to contest the race with him.
He should have been nominated not only by default, but with a rising vote of
thanks. But there was one man in the community who did not thus recognize
Mr. Tyler's merit. There was no call upon him to make the race, there was no
demand on the part of the public that any one should contest with Mr. Tyler for
the place. There was a universal sentiment that he had made a good Mayor. But
Mr. Jacob, not satisfied with the honors that have been heaped upon him, honors
many times not deserved, but having received all those honors, crowned with the
laurel of victory, sent out by the people of the United States with the prestige of
having been three times the Mayor of Louisville, and sent abroad to represent
the American Nation in a foreign country, with all that, with all those honors, it
seems to me that he might have been content to remain in a private station and
let his friend and neighbor, who had done thus well as Mayor, receive from the
Democratic party the endorsement he was entitled to.
I say if I considered Mr. Jacob the equal of Mr. Tyler, I would support Mr.
Tyler against Mr. Jacob, and I would support him on that ground alone if noth-
ing else; but when as a business man, a man of affairs, and one having a deep
and abiding interest in this community, I contrast the career of Mr. Jacob with
that of Mr. Tyler, I am strengthened in my confidence that my judgment i> right,
and that we ought without fail to elect Heury S. Tyler again as Mayor. You have
heard on the streets, from the stands, and through the newspapers that it is not the
fact that Mr. Tyler has administered the affairs of the city in a more business-like
and more economical manner than Mr. Jacob. You have heard from the place
where I now stand the statement made that Mr. Tyler was an extravagant Mayor,
that he was not what we have all called him, an economical Mayor, but that the
gentleman who now seeks his place, his predecessor, is by far the best adminis-
trator of the public affairs. Now, let us examine the facts. I do not care to go
back as far as the beginning of Mr. Jacob's career as Mayor, it would be too tedious
to undertake to go through so mauy years of his administration, but let us take
the last administration of Mr. Jacob and compare it with the administration of
Mr. Tyler. That is close. We can recollect it, and it will not produce confusion.
You have had it paraded to you that Tyler has spent so many hundred thou-
sand dollars more upon the fire department than Jacob did. Let us see how the
facts stand on that. The increase in the three years of Tyler over those of Jacob
in the expenditure in this department was $158,977. That fact is given you with-
out a word of explanation, and men seek to persuade you that because more
money was spent that therefore it was wasted. Now, what is the truth of this?
At the end of Jacob's administration it was found that the fire department was
entirely inadequate to the necessities of this great city. We needed several new
engines, several hook and ladder companies, a water tower, and several other
important articles of apparatus, and we needed houses to put those in. Arrange-
ments had already been made for the building of those houses; they were partially
built. They had to be completed. Public necessity demanded that we should
have an increase in the fire department, and Mr. Tyler, as a sensible business
man, went on and completed this work, and gave you a far better fire department
than you had ever had before. Now, let me give you a few items of expense that
he incurred. The whole difference, you will remember, was §10S,()00 in round
numbers. The increase due to the wages of the new firemen alone — the men
necessary to be employed in order to make the fire department effective —
amounted to §108,000. Will any one deny that these men should be paid for
their work? Will any man in this commiinity say that the fire department is
paid too much for what it does? Remembering as we do the gallant fights those
men have made against the destructive element, and the many lives that have
been lost in the last few years in those gallant fights, I dare any man to stand up
here and say that we have paid those men too much. (Applause.)
4 JUDGE PIRTLE'S SPEECH.
I say " we ;" I am identifying myself with my Mayor. You all know that I
have nothing to do with the city government. I am only a private citizen, and
talking to you just as I would talk to each one of you if I were to meet you on
the street, not to help myself, hut simply because I like to see the truth. Now,
we paid out to the fire department $108,000 more than we have heretofore paid
as salaries. We paid for No. 7, $4,200; for the cost of water tower, $4,500;
Pflanz hook and ladder, $1,600 ; for the four buildings, $24,500 ; and for refitting
and putting in new furniture in all the houses, and givittg these firemen a com-
fortable place to live in, $25,000, or a total of $172,000. Now, there is a dollar
in value for every dollar spent, and no man can complain when that is so. The
whole increase during Mr. Tyler's term was only $158,000 ; the amount spent in
wages was $108,000, apparatus, $14,500, new buildings and equipment, $49,500,
making $172,000. Now take from that the increase during Mr. Tyler's adminis-
tration, and you will find that Mr. Tyler has saved $13,000. (Applause.)
This is one of their big arguments against Mr. Tyler.
Now, let us take the police department. There is not a single charge made
in any way that can not be met just as easily as the one against the fire department.
It was paraded to you that there had been an immense increase in the expense of
the police department. The gentleman who spoke from this stand the other night
made a very serious mistake, by which he added $60,000 to this increase. I know
Mr. Phelps well, I have the greatest confidence in his integrity. I practice law
with him and against him, and I know that he would not make a false statement
about such a matter. It was a grievous mistake, but it was caused by the book-
keeper at the City Hall ; in transposing the figures he gave the cost of the fire
department as the cost of the police department, and thus produced the error. So,
instead of the increase being $140,000 in the police department, it was $83,200.
Now, how did that come about? In 1888, when Mr. Jacob became Mayor of
this city, the police force consisted of 164 men, drawing $2 per day salary. That
remained so for fourteen months ; after the expiration of that time the pay was
raised to $2.25, and it was at that figure during the remainder of Mr. Jacob's
term, and during the whole of Mr. Tyler's. When Mr. Tyler became Mayor one
of the first things that he saw, and one of the first things that was impressed upon
the people of the city of Louisville at large, was that our police force was utterly
inadequate for the protection of the city. The city had outgrown the police force.
It has still outgrown the police force. The force is not now large enough for the
city for protection from fire, violence, and thievery. We need more firemen and
we need more policemen. There was no extravagance on the part of Mr. Tyler
in increasing the force to 213 men. The pay remained the same, but the increase
in the number of men accounts for the whole of the increase in the expendi-
tures. The increase in Mr. Jacob's term because of raising the pay from two
dollars to two dollars and a quarter per day was $19,500 in one year. In
Mr. Tyler's time it continued with the same pay and with an increased force
of thirty-four men. The pay of each man during the three years was $2,466,
and for the thirty-four men would be $83,844, which more than accounts for the
difference between the expenses of the Tyler term and the Jacob term. There
is absolutely a saving of money there, as there has been a saving of money
everywhere when you put the two administrations alongside of each other.
I promised when I came here to-night to be brief, so that my successor, Mr.
McDermott, might have full swing, and I shall therefore confine myself to one
other subject and then resign the stand to him, and that is the tax rate and the
income of the city during the two administrations. I never fought a case or
made an argument in my life that I did not give my opponents credit for having
a- much sense as I have myself. I always aim to meet the strongest case they
JUDGE PIRTLE'S SPEECH. 5
can put, believing that that is the only sensible course for a man to take at any
time, never to suppress the truth, but meet the truth, and if the truth bears you
down to go down with the truth on top of* you. (Applause.)
Now here is the truth ; and let all the Jacob men and all the Tyler men pluck
up their ears and hearts, for here is the truth which shows that you have had the
most prudent, economical, and best Mayor who ever sat in the Court House
Square or City Hall. Mr. Jacob has been Mayor of this city quite frequently
you know. He had the good fortune during his last term, in a way that I shall
show you in a few minutes, of having a very low tax rate, and based upon that
is the claim that he has always been the most economical Mayor we could pos-
sibly have. He was Mayor in 1873. The tax rate during that year was §2.47.
They complain that Tyler has it at $2.17. He had it then at 30 more than Mr.
Tyler has it. In 1874 it was $2.32; in 1875, $2.32; in 1876, $2.28; in 1877,
$2.25; but the last time in 1878, he put it exactly Mr. Tyler's rate, $2.17. So
that in only one year out of those six has his rate been as low as to Tyler's, and
in the other five years it has been greatly in excess of his. When he was
Mayor, from 1882 to 1884, his average rate was $2.18, but in the last term that
he served the rate was only $2.03 on an average. Now, if every thing were
equal, and if Jacob raised money for every thing that Mr. Tyler has, then there
would be no getting around the fact, that when the rate was $2.03 under Jacob
and $2.17 under Tyler, Jacob was the most economical Mayor. But when you
leave out of Jacob's list items that appear in Tyler's, and proper items, and
items for which you have received value, then the argument disappears, and, as
I shall show you, proves conclusively that there is no foundation at all for the
claim that Tyler has been extravagant.
I have in my hand now a copy taken from the assessor's books of the tax rate
during the six years of the two administrations. For city purposes the tax rate
has always been the same, 85 cents ; for school purposes, during five years out of
the six years, it has been fixed by law at 33J; in one year of Mr. Jacob's it was
30. The Sinking Fund rate in Jacob's last year was 25, and during Tyler's next
year was 25, and during the last two of Tyler has been 26. But the bond tax,
the $1,500,000 that Jacob had issued to pay for the streets, the bonds of 1883,
as they are called, have compelled a tax of five cents in Jacob's time, and four in
Tyler's time. In 1888 there was no tax for that purpose. The tax for railroads
was 27 in 1888, 15 in 1889, 15 in 1890, 13 in 1891, and 10 in 1892 and 1893.
The House of Refuge tax is practically the same, four for every year. In Mr.
Tyler's time it was three tine year, but another year it was five, so that evens it
up. For cleaning streets the taxes have been very nearly the same in the last
four years. Previous to that Jacob had a rate of 17 and 17J. He then had
28J, and then Tyler had 29, 27, and 27. I do not suppose it is necessary to call
the attention of the citizens of Louisville to the fact that Tyler, with less money,
has kept us a cleaner city, that is so patent. He has kept his house so nicely, he
has kept it on house-keeping principles, cleaning up the dirt every day and not
letting it accumulate, that really and truly for the first time in the history of the
city of Louisville we take strangers about and show them our clean streets.
For sewer cleaning the tax has always been 2. Now let me call your atten-
tion of an important omission. In 1888 there was levied a tax of five cents for
street reconstruction, 1889 and in 1890 not a single cent for that purpose was
levied. During Tyler's three years there have been levied each year 21 J cents
for the purpose of building new streets. I will tell you why there was no tax
for street reconstruction levied in those three years, for you may say there was
none, as in one year it was so trivial, during those three years Jacob was using the
money which was raised upon the bonds. (Applause.) He did not get every-
6 JUDGE PIRTLE'S SPEECH.
thing quite ready to spend much money in 1888, but in 1889 and 1890 he spent
about §1,200,000. $1,200,000 raised by the sale of bonds; and yet gentlemen,
in fixing the expenses of Jacob's administration, suppressed the fact that this
was but another means of raising money for making your streets. What is the
difference whether you give a bond or whether you pay cash, if you are able
afterward to pay the bond. Is it not anticipating the money ? Was not the
money laid out in building those streets? Why, of course, every one can see
that. It was but a device. Instead of levying a tax, as Tyler has done from
year to year, spending the money as cash and getting a dollar's worth of work
for every dollar of taxes, a loan was made at forty years, bearing four per cent,
to pay for the work which ought to have been done from year to year by a levy.
I say, if they want to hold Tyler responsible for every thing in his term, so
we must hold Jacob responsible for every thing done in his administration ; and
when you calculate what these streets will cost the city of Louisville when those
bonds have been paid, it is perfectly appalling. You build streets which will
wear out in fifteen years at the outside. You give a bond payable in forty years,
bearing interest, and you have to pay every dollar of it. If you live you will
pay it yourself, and if not, your children and grand children will be bound to
pay every dollar of that $4,000,000, for the streets that cost $1,200,000, over
three dollars for one for every one of the streets thus laid. And that is the rea-
son why in those years Jacob had nothing on his tax list, nothing on the Tax
Collector's roll for street construction, and it is paraded here to you that Tyler's
rate is $2.17, 19 points larger than Jacob's ! Do they expect to deceive sensible
people by such talk as that, or do these wise gentlemen, with the ex-Mayor at
their head, have the same views Micawber had, that when you give a note that
pays the debt ? Now, how much did these streets cost, and how much must you
add fur expenditures to the three years of Jacob's administration for the cost of
these streets'.' Not the whole $1,500,000 was consumed in making the streets.
Part of it went over into Tyler's administration to pay for streets Jacob had
started. Part of it went for other purposes, but $1,200,000 in round numbers
was spent by Jacob in the three years, $400,000 a year. Now tell me, some of
you gentlemen quick at figures, how much would you have to increase his rate to
raise $400,000 more each year? Surely no less than fifty cents, and add that on
and see what Jacob's rate would be. In 1880 it was $2.10; 50 would make it
*-'. 60. In 1889 it was $2.02 ; add 50 and it is $2.52.
Why, when our distinguished friend Booker Reed became Mayor of the city
he had to make the highest tax ever levied in 1885, after he succeeded Jacob, and
hi' only levied $2.48; and adding 50 to Jacob's rate of $1.98, and that makes
$2. t>\ exactly the same as Booker Reed levied to help pay the debts of the eco-
nomiea! Mayor, his predecessor.
Now, gentlemen, I submit to you that this is a perfectly fair argument from
the facts that there is no difference between the two states of case whether you
raise the money by direct tax each year or you go on raising it through a series
of years. It has to be paid at last, It is fixed as a liability, and do what you
may, unless the city of Louisville goes out of existence, is sold out and becomes
bankrupt, every dollar of that §4,000,000 will have to be paid. I like to see
men come up like men and admit facts and say that this had to be done and it
was right. I do not deny that it was right. I think we needed the streets.
I do not think I would have voted against them. I do not know whether I did
or not vote for the bonds; I believe I did, and I would now vote to put our city
in better repair. It was dreadfully worn out. It needed the repairs everywhere.
It needs them now. We have not near got through making streets. Therefore
I say 1 do not object to spending money, but I do object to turning around and
saying we did not spend the money when it is all gone.
JUDGE P1RTLES SPEECH. 7
Now, let us see, how some of this money went. Say $1,100,000 was spent on
the streets. I have a list of all the streets made by Jacob and a list of Tyler's
streets, but I won't stop to read the names of the streets to you but give you the
aggregates. I believe, if any one were to listen to the talk that some have made
in this hall, they would think there had been twenty or thirty miles "of streets
made out of that money by Jacob. I have here the exact figures from the engi-
neer's office, and they are 10.59 miles. That is the whole of it. Now you know
how many miles of streets there are in the city of Louisville; and how many
has Tyler made? Those streets Jacob made for you cost you over $105,000 per
mile for each mile made. Tyler has gone along with his little tax each year,
which we did not feel, of 21J cents on every $100, and he has built you beautiful
streets in every direction ; not one year lias he stopped. He built nearly three
miles of streets in 1890, over two in 1892, and over two in 1893; and he has
built you within .03 of eight miles of street. He has built you 7.97 of as beauti-
ful streets as are to be found in the whole United States. He has exercised judg-
ment, care, and prudence, and has had the jobs well and cheaply done and by the
lowest bidder. He has put you down granite streets at a cost of $4.13 per square
of 100 feet less than Jacob when broken rock was used, and over $6 when con-
crete was used. Every block of granite Tyler has put into your streets has cost
less than the cheapest block of granite Jacob ever put into your streets. He
built this 7.97 miles — -let us call it 8 miles — at a cost of $44,000 per mile, a dif-
ference between him and Jacob of $65,000 per mile.
I believe I have kept my word to answer all these questions, and my time is
up, but I have one more word to say. I have already spoken longer than I
intended, but I have enjoyed it. Now, I believe that when a man has served
you faithfully you ought not to turn him out of your employment. Let us look
at this matter as business men in a great corporation would. The city is only a
great corporation. Every man in the city is a shareholder, I care not whether
he owns an inch of ground or one dollar of money or no property. He owns
one share at least in the corporation, aud he is entitled to protection from the city
whether he pays a dollar of taxes or not. He pays his share in his work and in
the expenses which he incurs in living, which add to the general prosperity.
However modest, therefore, however obscure, he owns one share at least in this
great corporation. Others own more, some own a great deal. Some pay thou-
sands and tens of thousands of dollars into the treasury. But still we all have a
common interest in maintaining this corporation which we all own. Now, if you
shift the idea from this municipal corporation to a. business corporation, say the
time rolls around for the election of the Board of Directors and the election of
the chief officer to be put in charge of the corporation, would any one hesitate
for an instant between a man like Tyler, who has always lived within his income,
who has always obeyed the laws of the corporation, who has never gotten it into
trouble or exposed it to bankruptcy, when against hini„ is running a man who
during twelve years of his administration never administered the government of
the city upon business principles, and never closed a term without leaving a debt
for some one else to pay ".' (Applause.)
You all have heard a great deal about old bonds and old liability bonds, but
do you know that of all the bonds we have nearly all were issued either by Jacob
or to pay his debts? And do you further know that there is now due to persons
who did work and sold material to the city under Jacob $156,000 honestly due,
aud there is no provision of the charter by which we can pay those debts? We
owe it and ought to pay it. If our chief officer has been unbusiness-like it is not
the fault of those with whom he dealt, and there is now due $156,000 made by
Jacob that Henry Tyler will have to pay under his next administration, not by
bonds, but by taxes.
8 MR. McDERMOTT'S SPEECH.
Now, make your choice, you Democrats; come up and vote on the 12th of
September next for the man you believe to be best qualified by his record for the
Mayorship of the city of Louisville. You all want to do what is right. You
men of business, you men of- money are always willing to contribute to the sup-
port of the city if the money goes in the right way. I never heard a tax-payer
complain when he got value for the money he paid into the treasury. But we all
want to know how much we have to pay. We don't want an administration that
says that we have to pay so much, and then at the end of the term says we have
to pay so much more. We want to know as business men just exactly what we
have to pay. Can I doubt that on the 12th of September Henry S. Tyler will
receive the endorsement to which he is entitled by the time-honored custom of
the Democratic party?
MR. McDERMOTT'S SPEECH.
I believe, fellow-citizens, that it is always our duty to consider soberly the
merits of candidates, and to choose the best man before us every time. A
few persons who are more critical and ungenerous than most of us may think
that no candidate before you is quite good enough; but, even granting that
unreasonable statement, a choice must nevertheless be made. You can not wait
for ideal candidates. In order that men equal to your highest demands may
always be encouraged to try their fortune in your service — in order that the law
which promotes the survival of the fittest may be steadily enforced — you must
never fail to vote for the best man before you. That I may aid you in your
choice of a Mayor I am here to speak this evening — to speak without malice or
unfairness — to speak candidly and earnestly, and in plain style, and to tell you,
as fully as my time will allow, the reason why you should vote for Mr. Tyler.
I shall relate such facts as I have been able, in the brief time at my command,
to learn from the best sources open to me ; and I shall try not to suppress any
thing that will help you to understand the issue before you or to make your duty
clear. I may be misinformed, but I have tried to find the truth, and I shall try
to be just. Our prosperity and daily comfort depend far more on our City Gov-
ernment than on our State or National Government. At any rate State and
National affairs in the United States are managed far better than municipal
affairs. In that great, book, Bryce's American Commonwealth, page 607, it is
said : " Both the debt and the taxation of American cities have risen with unprec-
edented rapidity and now stand at an alarming figure. There is no denying
that the government of cities is the one conspicuous failure of the United States.
The deficiencies of the National Government tell but little for evil on the welfare
of the people. The faults of the State Government are insignificant compared
with the extravagance, corruption, and mismanagement which mark the admin-
istrations of most of the great cities."
The debts of our cities are astounding. I am told that Cleveland owes
$17.00 per head; Indianapolis, $15.00; Milwaukee, f 24.00; Chicago, $20.00,
and Louisville, $57.00, for every man, woman, and child in her limits. The
cities of Europe are governed far better than ours; they are kept in better
condition and cost less money.
MR. McDEBMOTT'S SPEECH. 9
The failure of ours has been due to the fact that many citizens do not vote
intelligently in municipal elections, and do not always choose good officers; that
many voters shirk this duty through lack of courage or lack of sound sense or
by reason of selfish motives, open or concealed. In this very election some men
are violently opposed to Mr. Tyler while even publicly confessing that their
main motive is a desire for revenge, because he would not gratify their ambition
or serve their friends, or try to procure special advantages for them under the
new charter. Some voters are caught by mere chaff, by mere politeness or by
mere appeals to sympathy. The time has come when unselfish and sensible men
should resolve that they will choose only competent and faithful officers, and
that they will demand economical, business-like government, without any
accumulation of debt and oppressive bonds.
HIDDEN TAXES AND BURDENSOME BONDS.
The American people have long suffered from heavy burdens without know-
ing exactly what weighed them down. They have never understood clearly
enough that the consumer always pays the taxes; that the man who buys a coat
pays the tariff tax on the coat, and that a tenant when lie pays his rent pays the
municipal taxes to the landlord, who transmits the money to the city. Public
men, eager to get office and to cajole the voters while putting extraordinary
burdens on the people without their knowledge, disguise taxes in various forms,
and resort to circuitous and indirect means to double the burdens without excit-
ing complaint. The favorite means of quietly wasting the people's money in
municipalities is to issue bonds and to pile up debts while keeping the tax rate
low. When an incompetent or extravagant Mayor wishes to get twice as much
money as the people will pay in direct taxes, he persuades them to let him issue
bonds payable many years off, and then, after he goes out of office, the people
discover that he has left them not only the bonds, but another legacy in the form
of a floating debt. Any man who lives beyond his income will soon come to
grief. So will any city. A heavy bonded debt drives away capital and makes
manufacturers unwilling to put their factories here. Every bond issued makes
low taxes impossible; every large issue of bonds raises the tax rate for a genera-
tion longer. We are now groaning under taxes because of the debts put on us
by Mr. Jacob in the last twenty years. In order to show you how foolish and
wrong it is to borrow money on bonds, payable in forty years, in order to build
streets that will be worn out in ten or fifteen years, I call your attention to these
facts: of the million and a half dollars gotten from the bonds of 1883 by Mr.
Jacob, there was expended the sum pf $1,002,966.37 for streets alone. In a few
more years those streets will be completely gone, while we must be paying a
heavy interest annually and must pay the whole principal years from now, after
the same streets have been made over again two or three times at a heavy cost.
Some of those streets are completely gone already. Of the remaining $500,001)
of that bond issue, Mr. Jacob used $176,437 for ordinary city expenses that
should have been paid for with the regular taxes. Besides, whenever we borrow
large sums of money to make streets, the contractors raise their prices enor-
mously, because there is at such a time ample work for all at big profits. We are
now paying one hundred and ninety-five thousand dollars interest each year on
the bonds chargeable to Mr. Jacob during the past twenty years; that is, on the
four millions and five hundred thousand dollars which were issued in 1880, 1883,
1886, and 1888, either by him or by the other Mayors to pay his debts. Before
we are done we must pay five millions and seven hundred thousand dollars in
interest, or the enormous sum of $10,200,000 in all, to pay for perishable
improvements, the greater part of which will be entirely gone in a few years,
and no part of which will be of much value when the debt is paid.
MR. MrDERMOTT'S SPEECH.
HOW BONDS ARE FASTENED ON US.
But we are told that Mr. Jacob got a vote of the people in favor of these
bonds. In 1888 he went to the legislature and tried to get bonds for one
million five hundred thousand dollars without the vote of the people. And
what a farce such voting is! In 1876, in the State of New York, a commission
of the ablest men of that great State was formed, Senator William M. Evarts
being among the number. In the report of the commission the people who were
in a condition almost like ourselves, were plainly told by these able men how
their money had been squandered and how they had been deceived. The report
speaks of the usual means of wasting public money, and says : " It is speedily
found that these unlawful demands, together with the necessities of the public,
call for a sum which, if taken at once by taxation, would produce dissatisfaction
and alarm in the community and bring public indignation upon the authors of
such burdens. For the purpose of averting such consequences divers pretenses
are put forward, suggesting the propriety of raising means for alleged excep-
tional purposes by loans of money, and in the end the taxes are reduced to a
figure not calculated to arouse the public to action ; and any failure thus to raise
a sufficient sum is supplied by an issue of bonds.
" Yet this picture fails altogether to convey an adequate notion of the elaborate
systems of depredation which, under the name of city governments, have from
time to time afflicted our principal cities; and it is, moreover, a just indication
of tendencies in operation in all our cities, and which are certain, unless arrested,
to gather increased force. It would clearly be within bounds to say that more
than one half of all the present city debts are the direct results of the species of
intentional and corrupt misrule above described."
But this specious system of wronging the people has been condemned by a
gentleman who, if not equally as eminent as Senator Evarts, is at least entitled
to be heard on this topic; for he will not be accused, as Senator Evarts might be
accused, of having any personal ill-will toward Mr. Jacob. In the Constitutional
Convention of Kentucky, in January, 189J, just after Mr. Jacob's fourth term
had ended and just after Mr. Tyler had been inaugurated, and before his official
acts could furnish any criterion of what he would do in the future, and after his
tax rate for his first year had been fixed by Mr. Jacob and the Council before he,
Mr. Tyler, took office, the Hon. Zach Phelps, of Louisville, spoke in favor of
limiting the amount of indebtedness to be incurred by cities hereafter, he having
in mind Louisville's record of the past twenty years, during nearly two thirds of
which time Mr. Jacob had been Mayor. In his speech Mr. Phelps said:
" If the large indebtedness of the city of Louisville is what is aimed at, and
if the object is to prevent other cities from getting in the fix in which the city of
Louisville has gotten, and to prevent them from incurring such indebtedness as
will embarrass them as the city of Louisville has been embarrassed, why put it
at 10 per cent, when the net indebtedness of the city of Louisville is only 8|
per cent ? . . .
" As to the vote of two thirds (of the voters when debts are to be created
hereafter), that is a somewhat better barrier; but then you must consider the
fact that the authorities, the powers that be, the police force, the fire department,
the contractors, those people who want the debt contracted, will unite together,
and can come very near carrying a proposition of that kind through over the
wishes of the tax-paying public."
Mr. Phelps knew, from past experience with Mr. Jacob's administrations, the
truths he uttered; for in the bond election of 1888, by which Mr. Jacob was
allowed to impose another debt of $1,500,000 upon the taxpayers, his bond-
scheme would have failed entirely if many persons who were against it had not
remained away from the polls, in order that there might not be even enough
MR. McDERMOTT'S SPEECH. 11
votes cast in the election to make it a valid election under the charter. And
as it was, with all the influence Mr. Jacob, as Mayor of the city, could com-
mand, with all the influence of the contractors who wanted public work — in
spite of every exertion, fair and unfair — only 5,014 voters out of this great city
could be induced to vote for it, and nearly 4,000 voted against it. Some of Mr.
Jacob's champions say that for that issue of bonds Mr. Tyler must be held
responsible, because, forsooth, Mr. Tyler, as President of the Board of Council-
men, signed the ordinance after it was passed. These orators must have a poor
opinion of the intelligence of the people of Louisville, for almost anybody
familiar at ail with city affairs could teli them that the President of the Board of
Common Councilmen or of the Board of Aldermen, like the Clerk, merely signs
the ordinance to attest its genuineness, and that they are not responsible for its
passage merely because they perfunctorily sign their names. Mr. Tyler signed
the ordinance for the same reason that Mr. McCleery, the Clerk of the Council,
and Mr. Lucas, the Clerk of the Board of Aldermen, signed it, and for no other
reason. If he had refused, the courts could have compelled him, and would
have compelled him to affix his signature; but this specious pretense to excuse
Mr. Jacob is repeated upon the stump in all parts of the city, as if the voters of
Louisville had no sense. The Mayor of the city is always held responsible for
bond-issues, because he always asks for them as a special need for his adminis-
tration ; he can always control them and he spends the money.
ABOUT TAX RATES AND ASSESSMENTS.
Jacob Fixed the Rate at $2 17 for Tyler's First Year.
About tax rates and assessments voters have been told things that only a
moment's reflection will show absurd; bonds and floating debts have been puffed
up, as if they were the rarest luxuries that an impoverished people could desire.
It makes little difference what your tax rate is or what your assessment is under
one Mayor, if bonds and debts are piled upon you that you must pay under the
next Mayor. I do not mean that there can be no justifiable issue of bonds. In
very rare cases an issue may be justified for some extraordinary, truly permanent
improvement, which will last for many generations ; but, like all heroic remedies,
such an issue of bonds must be demanded by imperative necessity ; and never,
in the past twenty years, has Mr. Jacob had such an emergency, or at any rate
there never was any need for more than one tenth the bonds he caused to be
issued. Again, you are told to look at your tax bills to see whether you paid a
higher rate under Mr. Jacob than under Mr. Tyler; that Mr. Jacob's last rate
was $1.98 and that the rate during Mr. Tyler's first year was $2.17. That rate
of $2.17 was so fixed by Mr. Jacob and the Council before Mr. Tyler came into
office, and Mr. Tyler had nothing to do with the making of the rate during the
whole of the first year he was in office. Under the new charter that outrageous
anomaly has been made impossible in the future. Mr. Tyler, therefore, was
bound to accept the rate of $2.17 fixed for him by Mr. Jacob for the year 1891.
The Evening Times in its editorial on the day of December, 1890, said:
" The revenue to be divided among the departments under the tax levy for 1891
will be slightly over $220,000 in excess of that under the $1.98 rate of 1890.
The increase, however, is necessary, because last year there was no levy for street
reconstruction. This work was paid for out of the bond-fund. Now there must
be something set apart for this purpose, and naturally the rate must be higher."
When Mr. Jacob's spokesmen t ell you to look at your tax bills to see whose
rate was the higher, they do not tell you that you must look also to see what
items compose the rate. They do not tell you that you will see no provision in
Mr. Jacob's tax bill for parks (4 cents), nor for sewer construction (2 cents), nor
MR. McDERMOTT'S SPEECH.
or reconstruction of streets (21 cents). In other words they do not tell you that
out of Mr. Jacob's tax bill were left entirely three items that have been put into
Mr. Tylers's tax bill, and that had to be put there in order to enable him to keep
your streets in order and to build your sewers and to maintain your parks. You
arc not told that these three items alone amounted to 27| cents, which if taken
from the rate of $2.17 fixed by Mr. Jacob for Mr. Tyler, left Tyler's tax rate at
(1.89$. Nor have you been told that, while Mr. Jacob allowed only 21 cents
for unsatisfactorily cleaning' the streets, Mr. Tyler's average rate for keeping
your streets cleaner than ever before was 27f cents, or 6f more than Mr. JacOD
allowed for that crying need. Nor do Mr. Jacob's champions tell you that Mr.
Tyler had to burden you with 15 cents in order to make payments on the debts
of Mr. Jacob, and that if you deduct this item you will reduce Mr. Tyler's tax
rate to $1.74|. While Mr. Jacob's champions are juggling with figures, and
trying to befuddle you about the size of your tax bills under Mr. Jacob and Mr.
Tyler respectively, they do not remind you that Mr. Jacob, while having an
average tax rate of $2.03g upon all your property, imposed upon you in three years
$1,500,000 of bonds that you must pay in the future, and left you a net floating
debt of $158,570.75. One of his advocates has had the temerity to tell you that
in Mr. Jacob's last three years he received in revenue $1,000,000 less than Mr.
Tyler, when, as any body can learn by going to the city bookkeeper, it appears
beyond question that during Mr. Jacob's three years he received iu taxes $4,275,-
505.30, and $1,500,000 fro in bonds, making $5,775,505.30; and in addition to
that, after getting credit for three years' back taxes Mr. Booker Reed was en-
titled to, there was still chargeable against Mr. Jacob on the books of the city
debts which he left unpaid, which can never be paid except by a new tax for it,
or by bonds, and which amount to $158,570.75. Mr. Jacob spent, therefore,
altogether in his three years, $5,934,076.05. Mr. Tyler received money from no
source except taxes, and they amounted to $5,233,360.85.
In other words, Mr. Jacob had $542,144.45 more than Mr. Tyler,
and still Mr. Jacob left a net debt of $158,570.15, while Mr. Tyler
will leave a surplus.
It has also been said that Mr. Tyler received of the $1,500,000, gotten from
the bonds of 1888, about $300,000 ; yet you have not been told that all of that sum,
except $20,000 or $25,000, had to be paid out on the contracts which were made
by Mr. Jacob, and which were left by him as a burden to his successor and the
people. In the discussion of grave matters like these there should be reasonable
accuracy and fairness in the statements to the people. Every clear exposition of
the course of municipal affairs during the past six years strengthens the cause of
THE MAYOR'S CABINET IN THE BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS AND
THE BOARD OF PUBLIC SAFETY.
We are entering upon a new epoch in the city of Louisville. The new charter
is intended to revolutionize our municipal affairs. Following the sound teach-
ings of men like Mr. Seth Low, ex-Mayor of Brooklyn, and the Hon. James
Bryce, who has studied the subject thoroughly, keepiug in view the experience
of the cities of Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Boston, we have adopted a charter
which centers all responsibility upon the Mayor. While largely increasing his
powers we have lengthened his term, and we have provided for him a cabinet, on
which he must rely for success in his administration. He must fail if the mem-
bers of his cabinet be not men of ability and character, faithful to him and to the
city. That cabinet will be composed of men in the Board of Public Works and
the Board of Public Safety. They should not be named in advance of the elec-
tion, because they should not be selected in the heat of a political canvass; they
MR. McDERMOTT'S SPEECH.
should not be named at, such a time of excitement, because the Mayor would be
compelled then to choose men rather for their political support than for their
pre-eminent fitness for office. Each candidate under such a system would have
to parcel out his offices among strong workers in each ward, going from one end
of the city to the other for support. On the other hand, such important officers
should be selected after the contest is over, after calmness and reflection have in-
tervened, and if necessary two or three men ought to be selected even from the same
ward. The Mayor, looking over the whole city, and doing every part of it jus-
tice, lorgettiiig tne animosities anu rivalries oi. tiie campaign, and thinking only
of the public good and of his success in serving the people, should select his aids
simply on account of their ability and character, without regard to location or
political influence ; and if necessary he should even take some of them from those
who were friends of his opponent. To follow any other plan in the selection of
these cabinet officers would be contrary to the spirit of the charter, contrary to
what the people have a right to expect, and would ultimately bring upon the
Mayor himself failure and disgrace. Mayor Tyler, when it became necessary to
draft a new charter, did not choose charter commissioners who had been his
staunch supporters or who asked the honor. No; he selected three men who
had never, directly or indirectly, asked him for the office, and to whom he was
under no political obligations. He pressed the office on them as a public duty,
and they accepted the trust. As he selected his commissioners to prepare the
charter in this way, he gave a guaranty to you that the members of the Board of
Public Works and the Board of Public Safety would be selected, not for the
gratification of his selfish interests, nor as a mere reward for political support,
but for the public good alone. He knows that only by making a wise choice of
his associates can he hope to win the esteem of his fellow-citizens, and your good
will is all the benefit another term can bring him. In his letter to you he says:
" The Board of Public Safety and Public Works appointed by the incoming
Mayor will largely control the city affairs, and it is important that these offices
should be filled not only by men of the highest character but of the widest
experience. 1 am under no pledges, directly or indirectly, to make appointments
to any of these or other offices in the City Government, and, in advance, I pledge
my fellow-citizens, in case I shall be elected, that those I shall designate for these
places shall be men whose names, whose character, and whose abilities shall give
you the completest and fullest assurance of honesty, integrity, and economy in
every department of municipal control."
No clearer, manlier, or more patriotic pledge could be given by any public
officer. When Cleveland was a candidate for President, he did not tell the voters
whom he would name for his cabinet. Mr. Tyler, although filling a far humbler
office, is, nevertheless, governed by the same wise principle; and for one I will
say that if I had thought he would so far violate the spirit of the Charter — that
he would so far err in his judgment as to the requirements of his high office — as
to name these officers in advance of the election, I would never have given him
MR. JACOB'S MONOPOLY OF PUBLIC HONORS.
You have now before you two candidates for Mayor. One has been Mayor
four terms, or twelve years ; the other has been Mayor once. Mr. Jacob has
been honored more in the past twenty-one years than any other man in the city
of Louisville. In that time he has been Mayor twelve years, and Minister to
Bogota three or four years. So long has he enjoyed public honors and public
emoluments that his ambition, if not insatiable, ought to be satisfied. If he is to
be Mayor every other term for the remaining part of his life — if in this city of
200,000 people there is only one man fit for Mayor — then, indeed, our citizens
MR. McDERMOTT'S SPEECH.
are unfit for self-government. In a democratic country there should be no
monopoly of public office. If we are not Capable of governing ourselves, and
if we have not many men fit for our high offices, we ought to give up our politi-
cal rights, and give the office of Mayor to Mr. Jacob for life, and pass it on as a
heritage to his children. But we should remember the rivalries between Baxter
and Jacob in the olden time — we should know how dangerous it is to maintain
these centers of political spoilsmen, and we should make it clear that henceforth
no ex-Mayor shall ever find it profitable to gather around him discontented and
dangerous elements who want to return to power after the term of his successor.
It has been a good democratic principle time out of mind to give an official
endorsement to every man who has been faithful in the discharge of his trust
when such an endorsement was allowed by law. Mr. Jacob, having been hon-
ored four times, ought not to begrudge Mr. Tyler a single endorsement.
I know Mr. Jacob has many admirers in our midst, and I have naught to say
against his personal character or his integrity. I respect him, but I recognize
plainly that he has not the qualities which make him successful as Mayor of a
city, and that he. should, after all the honors he has enjoyed, give place to other
men. Some men have eloquence, some manly beauty, and some ability to manage
the affairs of government. When a lady tells me that Mr. Jacob is handsomer
than Mr. Tyler, I admit it. When some of Mr. Jacob's flatterers tell me that
Mr. Jacob is a prettier speaker than Mr. Tyler, I admit even that ; but these
endowments, like the flowers that bloom in the spring, " have nothing to do with
the case." The greatest orator of Greece was a poor general, and the greatest
orator of Rome was not a good statesman. I may say that I admire Mr. Jacob
as much as any lady in town, but, nevertheless, when I look at his record, and at
the record of Mr. Tyler, I have no hesitation in saying that Mr. Tyler has in
greater degree than Mr. Jacob the qualifications of an executive officer such as
the Mayor of Louisville should be.
When some of Mr. Jacob's enthusiastic admirers boast of him as their invin-
cible Achilles, I must say : How can that be? Achilles had his soft-spot in h
heel, Mr. Jacob thinks his soft-spot, is in his heart, but my friend Dr. Fowler
thinks Mr. Jacob's soft-spot is higher up [laughter] — on the lapel of his coat.
When Mr. Jacob's apologists say that he will change — that he will no longer
be so extravagant — I say that I can only judge the future by the past ; that a
man who has had four terms and made no change for the better, will not improve
now. The leopard can not change his spots. A venerable adage is, that you
can not teach old dogs new tricks. An ancient verse ran thus, you know:
"The devil was sick,
The devil a saint would be,
The devil was well,
The devil a saint was he."
WHAT OUR, BEST CITIZENS THOUGHT OF MR. JACOB'S
ADMINISTRATION FROM 1873 TO 1878.
Mr. Jacob was elected in 1876 by an unusual excitement among our people,
and the best men of the town, it was said, chose him as a reformer to turn out
the gang. He was Mayor for six years, from 1873 to 1878. In a few months
after his election he was apparently the staunch friend of the very men whom he
and his supporters had denounced, and ever since, while he has been Mayor, he
has been in hearty accord with the politicians that he is now defaming. The beat
citizens of our town, after they had endured six years of his administration, felt
that they were compelled to form a Reform Association, and to have a public
meeting to demand a reformation of the abuses which his administration had
fostered. At a public meeting, held in Library Hall in that year, Mr. John T.
MR. McDERMOTT'S SPEECH. 15
Moore presided, and men like our lamented and beloved Jouett Menifee, H.
Verhoff, jr., and Philip Speed, and like D. Frantz, jr., R. A. Robinson, John T.
Gathright, J. H. Leathers, and J. H. Phelps, all men who were and are the
pride of the city, acted as Vice-Presidents and Officers. That meeting adopted
a report in which it is said :
"Our city owes an enormous debt, our taxes are ruinously oppressive; for
many years our annual expenditures have been largely in excess of our receipts,
and, if we pursue this spendthrift policy, bankruptcy is inevitable." They cite
figures which, they say, show " that in nine years our expenditures have exceeded
our income at the average rate of $242,489.82 per annum !" They say also :
" In every department of our City Government we find that as the times get
harder, money scarcer, and people poorer, extravagant demands upon them
increase." They, therefore, adopted unanimously, with loud applause at the
reading of each section, the following resolutions:
" Whereas, Extravagance and reckless expenditure in many departments
of government have burdened us with a heavy debt, corrupted our local politics
and impeded our natural growth and prosperity ; therefore, be it
" Resolved, That the time has fully come for organization and for united effort
to correct these evils.
" Resolved, That ignoring all party ties, we call upon all good citizens to unite
with us in an earnest effort to secure :
"First: Rigid economy in every department of public affairs.
" Second : The defeat of any effort to appropriate money to any public work
not absolutely demanded by public necessity, until systematic econony brings
the expenses of the city within its revenues.
" Third : The abolition of all superfluous aud unnecessary officers.
"Fourth: The same strict attention to business on the part of every public
official that a prudent business man exacts of his employes.
" Fifth : The reduction of all taxes, direct or indirect.
" Resolved, That in order to secure these reforms, we demand the prompt
official co-operation of the General Council and other public Boards.
" Resolved, That every public officer will be held to a strict accountability for
his actions concerning these matters, and that the votes of Councilmen and
Aldermen on the salary ordinance will be a test of the sincerety of these pro-
" Resolved, That while this is not a political organization and will not be used
to advance the interest of any man, we will vote for no man who will not pledge
himself to use every effort in his power to bring the city's expenditures within
the city's income."
Many of these men had been Mr. Jacob's supporters, but they were compelled
by hard necessity to tell the truth of his administration.
WHAT MR. BAXTER THOUGHT OF MR. JACOB'S
Mr. Baxter succeeded Mr. Jacob, and he said in his message of February 27th,
1879, that he " found a depleted treasury, a floating debt of nearly one million
dollars, every special fund except the Road-bed Fund in deficit, nearly all of our
streets and alleys in worn-out condition, so much so that it will require four or
five hundred thousand dollars to reconstruct the principal and repair the others
so as to put them in passable condition." . . . He also pointed out that in 1878
the amount appropriated out of the general fund was $499,000 when the actual
revenue, if collected, was only $454,000, while the amount spent was $520,000.
The amount collected that year reached only $325,000, making an actual debt to
16 MR. MuDERMOTT'S SPEECH.
be floated of $195,000. He said further, " Tn 1874 (under Mr. Jacob) there were
issued and sold, said to pay old liabilities, bonds to the amount of $500,000
which netted .$454,460. Notwithstanding this, we again have a debt of the same
kind which seems to increase in volume every year, while we are becoming less
able to pay by reason of the yearly decrease in our revenue. . . . Since I have
come into office, with your honorable body's co-operation, we have thus far re-
duced the current expenses about $150,000 per annum ! " Again, in his annual
message dated February 20th, 1880, he showed that the city had cleaner streets
in 1879 under him (Mr. Baxter) at a saving over 1878 (under Mr. Jacob) of
$15,865.33, and he carted off 19,180 more loads of dirt than was carted off in
1878 at a cost of thirty-nine cents less per load. He showed, too, that the taxes
levied for general city purposes in 1879 under him were $203,896.11 less than
under Mr. Jacob for the preceding year. In Mr. Baxter's message of February
3, 1881, he shows that in the first two years of his term he made "a saving for
these two years over the two years previous (under Mr. Jacob) of about
$600,000." He showed, too, that the police force for 1880 made more arrests
with 135 men than the force in 1878 did with 179 (under Mr. Jacob), and at a
less expense to the city of $65,809.78. ... It cost the city per capita for each
arrest $19.55 in 1880, and $31 in 1878 (under Mr. Jacob). In 1881, said Mr.
Baxter, the taxes had to be raised ten cents to make payments on the "old lia-
bility bonds" issued to pay debts prior to 1878 (under Mr. Jacob).
WHAT MR. REED THOUGHT OF MR. JACOB'S THIRD TERM.
But some persons will say that perhaps Mr. Jacob's former friends in the Re-
form Association and Mr. Baxter could hardly be expected to do him justice.
Let us then look on other testimony. Mr. Jacob was again Mayor, 1882, 1883,
and 1884. When he went out of office that time Mr. Paul Booker Reed became
Mayor, and as soon as he entered office Mr. Reed sent a communication to the
General Council in which he criticised most severely Mr. Jacob's administration
of public affairs, and among other things he showed that Mr. Jacob had used for
other purposes part of the $1,500,000 of money gotten by him for public streets,
and among other things Mr. Reed says this : "In building this Eruptive Hos-
pital I find very flagrant extravagance, for instance, the payment of $10.50 a
load for hauling cinders." These cinders must have been heavier than lead or
they must have disappeared like the pumps. He says further : ''Of the $1,351,-
972 directed to be applied to reconstructing the streets, constructing sewers, re-
pairing the Western Outfall Sewer and restoring the levees and embankments on
Fulton Street and the cut-off, $176,437 were taken to pay current expenses of
the city during the last administration."
This left only $1,175,535.24 to be applied in the manner directed by law.
Contracts for improvements were made, however, to the extent of $1,489,042.41
in entire disregard of the plain fact that there were only $1,175,535.24
to pay them, thus causing a deficit of $282,972.90 in the bond-fund men-
Again he says: "The bonded debt of the city is a little over $9,167,000.
The floating debt is largely over $600,000. The tax bills for the year 1885 and
applicable to the payment of this debt are of comparatively small value, and
their collection is doubtful. These well-known facts, and the further fact that
the last issue of municipal improvement bonds ($1,500,000) and old liability bonds
($1,000,000) have caused an unpleasant increase in the rate of taxation, have
made people justly jealous of the present conduct of the city's affairs! " Thus
solemnly did Mr. Reed condemn him. But in order that there may be no doubt
about Mr. Reed's opinion of Mr. Jacob's administration, Mr. Reed, even as his
term was expiring, when he had had three years' time for cool reflection, wrote
MR. McDERMOTT'S SPEECH.
a communication to the Courier-Journal, on December 2, 1887, in which, in the
clearest and most scathing manner, he reviews Mr. Jacob's administration, and
repeats and strengthens all the old charges I have just read, and among other
things Mr. Reed (condemning a trick which has been tried by some of Mr.
Jacob's champions in this canvass), said :
"During Mr. Jacob's last term the city contracted $1,500,000 of bonded
debt, and left a floating debt for the current expenses during that terra, which
necessitated the issue of $500,000 additional bonds after he left office. There can
be no dispute about these facts; but Mr. Jacob's speech pays little attention to
them, when he is comparing the aggregate expenses of the city during the last
term of his administration and during mine. He lays great stress upon the -tax
rates during the two terms (and I shall show presently how unfairly he does
this); but he glides with perfect silence over the very important fact that by issuing
$1,500,000 of bonds (aside from leaving a large floating debt) he has necessitated
tin levying upon your property for thirty years, of an interest tax of $60,000 each
year. And when the thirty years expire your children will also have to pay the
entire principal of $1,500,000, besides the floating debt bonded as I have stated.
If you will add together this principal and interest you will find that they amount
in S.'!, 300,000, and that is the real burden which he left for you to bear, and every
dollar of it must be paid. Had Mr. Jacob paid this bonded debt his tax rate
instead of being $2.35, $2.10, and $2.10, would have been $3.28J, 3.00f, and
$3.02! . Would you have tolerated such taxation ? Yet, hard as it would have
been to bear, it would have been cheaper by just $1,800,000 than the bonded
debt he and his General Council " harmoniously " imposed upon you. For that
is the exact amount of interest which you will have to pay upon this debt.
Again, by changing the fiscal year of the city so as to end August 31st, instead of
December 31«s<, he was able during the last four months of his term to expend, and he
diil expend, a large part of the revenue for the fiscal year which did not end until
eight months after I went into office. As a result, when 1 went into office, I found
that Mr. Jacob, instead of receiving only the revenues of three years to pay his
expenses, during those three years had expended a large part of a fourth year's rev-
enue, and left me withoxd means to meet the current expenses then accumulated."
Again, he says: " Having shown the great excess of the total expenses dur-
ing his administration over those of mine, I shall not enter further into a detailed
account ; but I assert, and the books of the city will show, that in every depart-
ment there has been a considerable saving during my term as compared with
that of Mr. Jacob. He states that ' the claims made by this (Reed's) administra-
tion to greater economy as compared with my (Jacob's) term is a sham and a
false pretense.' In view of the figures I have given and those which I append
(all taken from the city records, with which Mr. Jacob is familiar) I can find no
language in which to characterize this statement which would be becoming from a
Mayor and an ex-Mayor of Louisville. Therefore I simply submit the facts to
a people who can 'read and understand.'"
WHAT MR. PHELPS THOUGHT OF MR. JACOB AS A MAYOR.
But, again, was Mr. Jacob elected in 1889, and what of that administration '.'
I will not ask you to take my statement alone, or that of Mr. Tyler. I shall
call another witness whom you will all think is as least as favorable to Mr.
Jacob as he could expect. And out of the mouth of that witness I will condemn
him. In the Constitutional Convention in January, 1891, there was a debate
over certain provisions affecting the government of cities. Mr. Tyler had only
been inaugurated. He had no record up to that time as Mayor. Therefore he
could not have been referred to in the remarks which I shall quote. In the pre-
ceding eighteen years Mr. Jacob had been Mayor twelve years, or two thirds of
18 MR. McDERMOTT'S SPEECH.
the time, and Mr. Reed and Mr. Baxter had held the office during the remainder
of the time. The witness I summon is the. Hon. Zach Phelps, who took a promi-
nent part in so wording the Constitution as to make Mr. Tyler eligible for
re-election because of the good start he had made as an economical, upright,
business-like Mayor. Mr. Phelps spoke as follows: " As the distinguished dele-
gate, the Chairman of the Committee, said, the city of Louisville has been
groaning and suffering under this imposition of a heavy tax rate for so long that
some extreme measure is necessary. The people demand some extreme measure.
. . . What possible excuse can there be for a city having a hundred millions of
property subject to taxation — for that is what it amounts to in Louisville in
round numbers, and it is increasing from year to year at the rate of about fifteen
or twenty millions — for levying more than $1.50 on each $100 for the purpose of
running its government?"
Mr. McDermott. "Do you think, then, that all the Mayors and Boards of
Councils for the last twenty years have been derelict in their duty?"
Mr. Zach Phelps. " I would not state it in that way ; but I will say that I
believe administration after administration has wasted the money of the
citizens and the taxes collected from the people in the most extravagant and
outrageous way, and the gentleman knows that the citizens of Louisville have
time and again endeavored to devise some means to correct the evil. ... I will
say that, under the mode and manner that the affairs of the city of Louisville
have been run when run after the plan now existing, there is such useless
extravagance and waste of money as to make the rate of tax much larger
than it should be."
Is that not hard enough on Mr. Jacob ? Could anybody be harder ? Mr.
Jacob, who was thus severely condemned, has done nothing since to show any
change in his methods, and he would merit again the harsh condemnation of Mr.
HOW OUR HEAVY DEBT HAS BEEN PUT ON US.
In order that you may understand clearly how our heavy debt has been put
on us, I will briefly run over the financial affairs of our city since Mr. Jacob
came into office in 1873. During the year 1873 there was issued $1,000,000.00
bonds for the E. & P. R. R., $76,000.00 for the extension of the Water Com-
pany's mains, $200,000.00 for the City Hall, $600,000.00 for reconstructing
streets, and $200,000.00 for the road-bed at Beargrass Creek. On March 1,
1874, he issued $400,000 00 of bonds to pay old debts, and yet, though he got
in that manner $1,000,000.00 to build his streets and to pay old liabilities, he
went out leaving a floating debt of nearly $1,000,000.00, as appears from the
statement in the report of the Reform Association and in Mr. Baxter's message.
Mr. Baxter was Mayor in 1879, 1880, and 1881.
On May 1, 1880, he had to issue bonds for the sum of $1,000,000,00 to pay
Mr. Jacob's old debts. Mr. Baxter, according to the city book-keeper's state-
ment, left no debt. Mr. Jacob was again Mayor in 1882, 1883, and
1884. Surely after his past experience and after Mr. Baxter's good exam-
ple you would think he would leave no debt. Let us see. He issued bonds
again for the sum of $1,500,000 for streets and other municipal purposes, and
still went out of office, as we learn from the message of Mr. Reed, with a debt
of $600,000. Then Mr. Reed was Mayor in 1885, 1886, and 1887. Mr. Reed,
on August 1, 1886, had to issue bonds for the sum of $500,000 to pay Mr.
Jacob's old debts, and Mr. Reed made the city live within her income, and left
no debt. Again Mr. Jacob was elected Mayor, and surely this time we might
expect that lie would not repeat his old practices ; that, on the contrary, he
would follow the example of Mr. Baxter and Mr. Reed, and would live within
MR. McDERMOTT'S SPEECH. 19
his income; but again he came forward as an advocate of bonds, and he got
$1,500,000 in bonds for municipal purposes, and again he went out leaving a
debt of 3346,363.19. After being reduced by all the taxes to which he was
entitled, and by the receipts which came from Mr. Reed's tax bills, this debt
amounts to $158,570.75, for which bouds must now be issued or which you must
pay with special taxes, although the money has been expended and there is
nothing to show for it.
Mi\ Tyler was Mayor in 1891, 1892, and 1893. He has issued no
bonds, and he has not only left no floating debt, but the bookkeeper
of the city assures me that there will be a balance of many thousands
of dollars to Mr. Tyler's credit in the treasury.
Thus we see that in Mr. Jacob's first year bonds to the amount of $2,076,000
were issued. In his second year bonds to the amount of $400,000 were issued.
Since 1874 every bond issued has been issued on his account. Bonds for $1,500,-
000 were issued to pay his debts, and bonds for $3,000,000 were issued to make
his streets and to pay for other municipal improvements. In other words, IN
ten years he spent, in addition to the taxes, $4,500,000. none op the
other Mayors ever asked or had more than the ordinary taxes to
live on. When you add the interest on this $4,500,000 debt put on us by Mr.
Jacob, the whole burden amounts to $10,200,000. That is what you and your
children and your grandchildren must pay for the luxury of having had him
Mayor for twelve years. Truly it is a big monument to his extravagance !
Truly the poor must groan and sweat and stint themselves long days and nights
to pay for his want of judgment or want of economy! The interest alone on
this debt would make five miles of vitrified brick streets every year, and still the
principal must be paid after the streets have been made two or three times over.
Mr. Jacob made only 3| miles of a street a year with all his taxes, bonds, and
THE TAX RATE.
But let us glance for a moment at the tax rate during the last twenty years.
During the first six years of Mr. Jacob's administration his average tax rate was
$2.30^ ; Mr. Baxter's average after that was $2.14J; Mr. Jacob's average tax
rate in his next term after Mr. Baxter, that is, in the years 1882, 1883, and 1884,
was $2.18| ; Mr. Reed's rate in 1885, 1886, and 1887 was $2.27; Mr. Jacob's
average rate in 1888, 1889, and 1890 was $2.03J. He fixed the tax rate for Mr.
Tyler in 1891 at $2.17, and Mr. Tyler simply retained that rate during the
years 1892 and 1893. Mr. Jacob, therefore, with a tax rate about the same as
the other Mayors, with a larger tax rate than Mr. Baxter, and almost as large a
rate as Mr. Reed and Tyler had, has still been the only Mayor to leave a floating
debt, and the only Mayor to get the benefit of any bonds.
Mr. Jacob's friends talk about the assessment being higher under Mr. Tyler
than under Mr. Jacob. The assessment grows with the growth of the city. The
increase in the assessment in Mr. Jacob's three years was $6,000,000, and during
Mr. Tyler's three years has been only $8,000,000, merely a normal, healthy
growth. But as the boundaries have been extended and the assessment has been
increased, the police force and the fire department have been increased ; the cost of
constructing and cleaning streets and expanding and cleaning the sewers has
been increased, and naturally the demand upon the treasury has been greater
than the increased revenue from the greater assessment. But, in point of fact,
as I have shown you, Mr. Jacob received $542,144.45 more than Mr. Tyler, and
yet Mr. Jacob has left a net debt of $158,570.75, while Mr. Tyler will have a
20 MR. McDERMOTT'S SPEECH.
surplus in the treasury. In other words, Mr. Jacob spent more than $700,715.20
in excess of the amount spent by Mr. Tyler.
THE COST OF POLICE UNDER TYLER.
But the friends of Mr. Jacob s;iy that Mr. Tyler's expenditures for the police
department and the fire department have been greater. Let us look at that a
moment. The cost of the police department under Mr. Tyler has been $83,-
200.57 greater than under Mr. Jacob. This increase is due not to any increase
in wages, but simply to the fact that Mr. Tyler has observed the ordinance
passed during Mr. Jacob's term, and lias increased the number of patrolmen for
the protection of the city. Nobody would have the number of policemen
reduced so long as we can fairly pay for them. Even at the best we have not
enough policemen for our proper protection.
THE COST OF FIRE DEPARTMENT.
As to the fire department, the difference between Mr. Jacob and Mr. Tyler is
simply $158,977.40, which was made necessary by the new engine houses that
were demanded by the people in the outlying districts of the city. I have an
exact slatement showing every dollar of that increase. Five extra companies
were put into service for the protection of the people, namely, the Stoll Hook
and Ladder Company, the Pflanz Hook and Ladder Company, the Mayer Engine
Company, the Water Tower, and the Aerial Hook and Ladder Company. The
building of these houses and the payment of the salaries of the new men at the
regular rates, and the equipment of the houses, cost exactly the difference in
expenditure between Mr. Tyler and Mr. Jacob. The wages of the men were
not increased. Everybody wants better protection from fire and more engines,
80 long as we are keeping within our income and are not paying exorbitant
THE PAYMENTS TO THE SINKING FUND.
Mr. Jacob, it is said, has paid more during his three years to the Sinking
Fund than Mr. Tyler has paid. Heaven knows he ought to have paid more!
Surely every father should be willing to pay more than other people pay for the
maintenance of his offspring, no matter how ugly and burdensome it may be.
As the Hon. Albert S. Willis, some years ago, was making a speech on the beau-
ties of Louisville, at a banquet at the Gait House in this city, and after he had
named over various admirable objects like the Court House, City Hall, etc., Dr.
Lunsford P. Yandell, one of our able, celebrated physicians whom we all regret-
ted to lose, tried to help Mr. Willis by suggesting Cave Hill Cemetery. Mr.
Willis quickly added: "And then, as my brilliant friend Dr. Yandell suggests,
we have Cave Hill Cemetery. He above all others has a right to suggest that
beautiful cemetery, for nobody has done more than ke to fill it." Nobody has
done more than Mr. Jacob to make the debt, and nobody should do more to
extinguish it. But the statement of the friends of Mr. Jacob is misleading. In
giving the amount paid to the Sinking Fund by Mr. Tyler, five months of Mr.
Tyler's term are omitted. At the end of the last five months of his term the
amount paid into the Sinkiug Fund by him will be as great as that paid in by
THE CITY HOSPITAL REPAIRS.
But they tell us much about the City Hospital repairs, which cost far more
than the McDonald Bros., responsible and honorable architects of this city, had
allowed in their estimates. Mr. Tyler, like any other man, relied upon the judg-
MR. McDERMOTT S SPEECH. 21
ment of these experts of high standing in the community. There is not a busi-
ness man in the city who would not have done the same. But the money spent
on the City Hospital was spent under the supervision of a committee consisting
of Messrs. Charles Grainger, Albert Stoll, Louis T. Davidson, Isaac Hartfield,
"Win. Mayer, Dr. Wiley Rogers, and Dr. T. P. Satterwhite. They are men who
have the confidence and esteem of our people, and on them, in conjunction with
the Mayor, was put the responsibility of deciding all questions concerning the
repairing or rebuilding of the hospital. Some of them are said to be Mr.
Jacob's friends. None of them can throw any blame upon Mr. Tyler. He and
ley together have done the best they could, and, though their estimate was
exceeded, they did splendid work and have given us a fine building, whereas the
old building in its decay was a disgrace to the city and a stain on our honor. A
new building, as good as the one we have, would have cost far more than the
repairs, which have niade the hospital all that could be desired.
in his message to the Council, April 28, 1890, Mr. Jacob advised that the
City Hospital be torn down, or that the greater part be torn down, and that new
additions be made. He said: "I believe that such pavilions as are necessary for
the present use could be erected at a cost of not to exceed $150,000, perhaps
much less, and I am firmly of the opinion that an act to that effect should be
passed by your honorable body, and laid before the legislature at once." Thus,
you see, he recommended more bonds and $150,000 for repairs. Mr. Tyler
asked no bonds, made the repairs for $125,000, and paid for them out of his
THE CATCH-BASIN CONTRACT.
But they talk of the catch-basin contract of Mr. Simons. That contract was
made with Mr. Simons by Mr. Jacob, and was made because Mr. Simons agreed
with Mr. Jacob to do the work for $400 less every year than the city was paying
for the work at that time. Since September, 1888, the catch-basins have
increased 475. After Mr. Tyler became Mayor, the catch-basins were increased
largely in number, but still Mr. Tyler pays not a cent more than Mr. Jacob paid
for about three fourths of the basins now in existence. During the six years
that Mr. Simons has had charge of the catch-basins the city of Louisville has
not had a single suit for damages, and has not paid a cent as indemnity to any
citizen injured by overflowing catch-basins. During the preceding seven years
there were many suits brought against the city for damages caused by overflow-
ing catch-basins, and I am told that the city paid out on that account alone
more than $20,000 damages.
Mr. Jacob's friends complain because Mr. Tyler, at the time the Eruptive
Hospital was burned, had insurance on it for only $2,500. The Eruptive Hos-
pital, which was built during Mr. Jacob's second administration, cost $39,000,
" but the insurance companies refused to insure it during Mr. Tyler's term for
more than $2,500." That was all they thought Mr. Jacob's expensive building
was worth. Mr. Tyler got all the insurance on it that could be gotten. After
it was burned he built a much larger and better hospital, with modern improve-
ments in every department, at a cost of only $6,300.
THE REMAINDER OF MR. JACOB'S BONDS.
Mr. Jacob, when he retired from office left contracts for uncompleted streets
and sewers which Mr. Tyler had to finish. Out of the bond money received by
Mr. Jacob, and consumed by his contracts, Mr. Tyler paid out for sewers $156,-
MR. McDERMOTT'S SPEECH.
182.23, for streets $198,483.17, making a total sum of $354,665.40. That
money was simply paid by Mr. Tyler on Mr. Jacob's contracts. Mr. Tyler
spent none of the bond money of Mr. Jacob except what was spent on some
small sewers, and on this account Mr. Tyler has made contracts which will
require the payment of $20,932.61. This is the only benefit he has received
from the bonds issued bv Mr. Jacob.
SOME COMPARISONS BETWEEN JACOB AND TYLER.
I have had the City Engineer to send me a statement showing the relative
cost of sewers under Mr. Jacob and Mr. Tyler, respectively. The comparison is
Under Jacob. Under Tyler.
For 12-inch stoneware pipe, per lineal foot $1 42 $1 26
For 18-inch stoneware pipe, per lineal foot 2 44 1 62
For 2-foot brick circular 3 43 2 13
This comparison is made between works similar in size, construction, and
I have also had the City Engineer make a- statement of the cost per mile of
streets. Mr. Jacob, with all his taxes and all his bonds and his heavy debt,
constructed in three years 10 T 7 5 6 miles of streets at a cost of $1,116,576.58, or
$103,771.05 per mile. Mr. Tyler, without any bonds or debts, constructed
^tVc miles at $44,718 per mile. Mr. Tyler, therefore, spent $59,053 less per
mile than Mr. Jacob. [See appendix for comparison by City Engineer.]
I have in my hand a copy of Letting No. 15, of March 29, 1893. It shows
how Mr. Tyler has saved large sums of money by refusiiTg to let work when the
contractors made their bids unreasonably high. In this case the work would
have cost $9,395 if Mr. Tyler had given the work to the lowest bidder, but in
order to avoid this exorbitant price he relet the work in Letting No. 17, of
April 8, 1893, at a cost of $6,946, thereby saving for the tax-payers on this
small item alone $2,449. This was for Baxrer Avenue from the south line of
Broadway to the south line of Highland Avenue.
Mr. Tyler has saved incalculable sums for the taxpayers in this way. He
has never allowed the contractors to overreach the city by making exorbitant
bids. In some instances, thinking the prices bid too high, he has rejected bids
as many as five times before he would award the contract, so careful has he been
of the people's money.
CITY HALL EXPENSES.
The City Hall expenses, according to figures sent me by the City Book-
keeper, were :
Under Mr. Jacob, for 1888, 1889, and 1890 $47,255 95
Under Mr. Tyler, for 1891, 1892, and 1893 28,549 04
The saving under Mr. Tyler was $18,706 91
SECRET SERVICE FUND.
An ordinance, approved October 13, 1853, which is still in force, provides:
"The Mayor may draw from time to time on the secret service fund for such
funds as he may think necessary, not exceeding the amount of said fund, and
shall keep a book specifying the sums drawn and for what purpose used, which,
on request, shall be exhibited to any member of the Council for inspection."
Under this ordinance and the charter, which allows to the Mayor a secret
service fund of $1,000 per annum, it has been the duty of our Mayors, ever
since Mr. Jacob became Mayor in 1873, to keep a statement of the sums used
MR. McDEBMOTT'S SPEECH. 23
out of this fund. At any rate, the law made it the Mayor's duty to keep a book
open to inspection by the Council for the purpose of making it clear that the
money of the taxpayers so appropriated was faithfully used. The money was
not allowed the Mayor to enable him to give anybody alms. Mr. Jacob, I am
told, drew from the secret service fund on September 30, 1888, $1,000; on
October 30, 1889, $1,000, and on September 30, 1890, $1,000. Mr. Reed, in
1885, did not use any of his secret service fund. He returned it to the city
treasury. In 1886 he'used only $89.40 of the secret service money, and in 1887
he used $984.90. In other words, in three years Mr. Reed used only $1,073.10
ot the secret service money. Mr. i.yier nseu in iooi, -p^o.uu <u me »wici
service money, and in 1892 and 1893, $457.20. He has observed the law and
preserved a statement of the money so used by him. It is singular that Mr.
Jacob in his three years used more secret service money than Mr. Tyler and
Mr. Reed, put together, have used in six years; and yet I have been told that
Mr. Jacob has never left in the City Hall any record to show the amount of the
secret service money thus used by him. While I admit Mr. Jacob's personal
honesty, and by no means wish to be understood as charging upon him any
thing dishonest, it does seem to me that he, as well as other Mayors, should
observe the law as he finds it, and that the taxpayers are entitled to know some-
thing at least of the manner in which their money is spent It is undoubtedly
a matter for just criticism of Mr. Jacob's administration that he used $3,000 of
secret service money during the three years he was in office, while Mr. Reed
and Mr. Tyler in six years used $2,023.95. This may be a small matter, but it
indicates unmistakably a difference in business methods and in economy in the
spending of the people's money. In 1887 Judge W. B. Hoke wrote Mr. Jacob
this letter :
" Louisville, November 29.
"Hon. Charles D. Jacob: I see in this morning's paper that you are reported
with saying that the man who charged you with drawing $4,000 secret sen-ice fund
in three years would have to fight. I have made the charges, time and again, for
three months in my speeches, and had it reported in the papers. The foundation for
my charge was an examination of the books and records in the OUy Hall. From the
records I find you went into office January 1, 1882. On February 13, 1882, Voucher
No. 83 shows that you drew $1,000; February 6, 1883, Voucher No. 72 shmes that
you drew $1,000; 'October 30, 1883, Voucher No. 193 shows that you drew $1,000;
November 1, 1884, Voucher No. 172 shows that you drew $1,000. This is $4,000
inside of three years. 1 will submit this to any two judges now upon the bench, and
let you name the two. If they do not bear me out I will vnthdraio from the race.
Will you withdraw in case they say my statement is correct ? Or I will leave it to
Gen. 'Castleman, the chairman of your meeting, or to any two ministers in the city,
and let you select them. I dare you to examine the record and then make an affidavit
that it is not true. You will find the record in the Auditor's office, Oity Bookkeeper's
office, and Oity Treasurer's office. J will fake pleasure in going with you and show-
ing them to you. Very respectfully,
"W. B. Hoke."
The following is the Bookkeeper's statement of the secret service account
since 1882 :
Jacob. 1882. February 28th, received H'°!.^
1883, January 31st, received n
1883, October 31st, received •, '.° 00
1884, October 31st, received I. 000
Jacob used in three years $4,000
24 MR. McDERMOTT'S SPEECH.
Reed. 1885, October 31st, drew $1,000, and paid same back August 31, 1886.
1886, September 30th, drew $1,000, and paid back $911.60 August 81, 1887.
1887, September 30th, drew $1,000, and paid back $15.30 January 81, 1888.
Reed used in three years, $1,074.10.
Jacob. 1888, September 30th, drew $1,000
1889, October 31st, drew 1,000
1890, September 30th, drew 1,000
Jacob used in three years $3,000
Tyler. 1891, drew $493 65
1892 and 1893, drew 457 20
Tyler used in three years $950 85
Jacob used in six years $7,000 00
Reed and Tyler, put together, used in six years 2,024 95
ME. JACOB'S ABUSE OF HIS OLD CHUMS.
To decoy a few simple-hearted or siin pie-minded persons that have short
memories or little insight into human motives, Mr. Jacob's present champions
are roundly abusing his old friends, Messrs. Lum Simons, Scott Newman, and
Edward Hughes. This sudden air of political elevation on the part of Mr.
Jacob's friends makes knowing men smile. When Mr. Jacob was elected in
1876 his great battle-cry was against the City Hall politicians, and on that cry
he was elected by Main Street merchants. Many of the men who were then his
staunchest supporters soon deserted him forever because he at once became
friendly with the very politicians he had denounced. Those politicians were
ever afterward his mainstays. They ran with him constantly, and he seemed to
do every thing they expected or wanted. At any rate he gave them entire satis-
faction. In his canvass in 1881 and in 1887 they helped to carry him through
to victory. In the latter canvass hundreds of our most prominent citizens,
many of whom had before supported him, publicly pledged themselves to vote
for a Republican rather than for him. They were such men as David Frantz,jr.,
James G. Carter, H.T.Jefferson, and two hundred and fifty others of that kind.
It was openly stated that he had been nominated at a fish-fry by the men he now
defames. Before and after he was elected they rallied round him and so highly
was he pleased with them that in the latter part of his term he gave them a din-
ner at the Pendennis Club. Mr. Simons, it is said, gave him a diamond pin, and
he, Mayor Jacob, gave Major Hughes, who had been his Chief of the Fire De-
partment eight years, a gold fireman's badge, and their hearts beat happily :
" Soft eyes look'd love to eyes which spake again,
And all went merry as a marriage bell."
When he became a candidate this time what was the first act he did? It
was to visit Mr. Scott Newman and Mr. Lum Simons, and to beg their support.
Here is his sweet, pathetic love-note to Mr. Scott Newman, which was substan-
tially THE SAME AS THE NOTE HE WROTE TO Mr. LuM SlMONS :
My Dear Mr. Newman : On Saturday I announced myself as a candidate for
Mayor. This morning I have commenced, for the first time, my canvass. If you
can conscientiously support me, I shall be very happy. If not, it is your privil-
ege, my misfortune. Yours, very truly, Charles D. Jacob.
Could Damon have written Pythias a tenderer missive than that ? Note that'
he went to his dear Mr. Newman on the very first morning of his canvass,
MR. McDERMOTT'S SPEECH. ->5
treating Mr. Newman as his nearest and most valued friend ; that he regarded
Mr. Newman as one who would not support even himself unless it could be
done " conscientiously; " that he conceded to Mr. Newman the "privilege"
of supporting somebody else without being called a scoundrel and an " ingrate."
Observe, therefore, that these men were his bosom friends (his letter witnesses
how he loved them), and that he is without their help, not because he does not
desire it, but simply because he can not get it, though he eagerly sought it and
would jump for joy if he could get it to-day. He never changed his opinion of
them until they chanced their opinion of him, or rather until they found them-
selves committed to another man whom they could not " conscientiously " desert
for him. I have no doubt they would at first have preferred to support Mr.
Jacob, for they found it far easier under him than under Tyler to have their
way. Nothing is more absurd than to pretend that these men ever have con-
trolled or ever will control Mr. Tyler. His election is desired as eagerly by a
big majority of the most eminent men in Louisville as by the politicians whom
some envious men, some dull men, and some Jacob men are denouncing as if
Mr. Tyler could be blamed for accepting what Mr. Jacob wanted and would be
glad to have now, namely, their political support. Men like R. A. Robinson,
John A. Carter, Arthur Peter, George Gaulbert, Judge Overton Harris, Judge
Pirtle, Fred Keisker, Gotlieb Layer, Fred Leib, John Stites, Thomas Sherley,
John D. Taggert, and thousands of other good citizens like them, are for Mr..
Tyler because they know he has made a fine Mayor and ought to be re-elected.
If such men as those can su pp ort him, not a single good man need hesitate.
Besides, the Board of Public works, and the Board of Public Safety, which
will be under able, upright men, will see that the fire department, the police
department, and the engineer's department are managed honestly, efficiently, and
economically. There will be no questionable methods possible under good
Boards, for hereafter the Mayor and his Cabinet will be directly responsible for
In addition to all this, let it not be forgotten that there are crowds of worth-
less and degraded men behind Mr. Jacob now — men who hope to be in the
various departments under him, although they have neither character nor fitness
for any thing except to live on the hard-earned taxes of industrious people. Mr.
Tyler and his friends do not abuse Mr. Jacob's managers as if they were about
to ruin the city. Who has said any thing against his ardent supporters, Mr.
George W. Frantz, Mr. Flynn Davis, Mr. George W. Levi, Mr. Phil Hinkle,
Mr. Ike Forst, and Mr. Sam Harlan? They have confidence in the friendship
and gratitude of Mr. Jacob; they are heartily for him, and they are entitled to
their preference, and nobody is saying any thing against them. Mr. Jacob is
their style of man ; they like him, and he is no doubt devoted to them ; that is
not unnatural and nobody complains. It is their right. But why can not Mr.
Tyler's supporters have the right to live and look up without kneeling to Mr.
Jacob? When the talk turns to "gangs," the Jacob glass-house is in imminent
danger. The solid, sober, 'thinking men who want good streets, cheap streets,
clean streets, and every thing else well conducted without bonds or debts, are
for Mr. Tyler, and they can not be fooled by any silly political cant or by ugly
names or transparent masquerading. They will not be frightened by Mr. Jacob's
cry of "wolf; " they will not choose his new gang because a few of his old gang
are not for him now. They know Mr. Tyler has been an honest, successful,
economical Mayor; that he will be even better next time ; and that is enough to
satisfv anybody. Mr. Jacob makes a great outcry now against the men he kept
in office for years, and says now, because they would not promise to support him,
he will turn them out. But he does not say whom he will put in their places.
We know by his past record that he will not put in better men; that he will
probably put in worse men.
MR. MoDERMOTT'S SPEECH.
Mr. Tyler has said in his public letter that he will choose only men of high
character and ability to serve on his boards, and these boards will have complete
control of all the departments, and will have the appointment of the Chief of
the Fire Department, the Chief of the Police Department, and the City Engi-
neer. Here is a pledge for good government and a bulwark against inefficiency
and corruption ; here is a guaranty that we shall never again endure what we
have endured under Mr. Jacob. On the other hand, Mr. Jacob does not even
promise that much. He promises only to punish his old boon companions, not
because they have become unfit, but because he could not get their support
again. Are we to run our city simply to gratify his revenge or anybody's pri-
THE ROSE FOOLISHNESS.
This rose-foolishness is characteristic. It shows, that Mr. Jacob's friends
think more of his ornaments than of his public services — that they and he are
thinking more of the caprices and extravagances of the rich than of the needs
of the poor, who, while wanting bread and meat and shelter, are ground down
by taxes. A laboring man with a large family, or a widow with children to raise
and to educate, care nothing for button-hole bouquets, but must care a great deal
for low rents. This fad shows that Mr. Jacob's friends want a showy man,
rather than a plain, practical man; that they love luxuries and extravagance
rather than economy and thrift. All this shows what we may expect in the
spending of taxes. Our money will go for fineries and fooleries, not for the sub-
stantial necessaries of life.
And then to choose a yellow rose, the sign of small-pox and yellow fever
and jaundice! Yet, as the secretary of the club says, there is a certain fitness
in this rose. It's true Mr. Jacob is politically " in the sere and yellow leaf."
Still that thing that they wear is no more like a Mareschal Neil than Mr. Jacob
is like Hercules. It is a showy and yet a transparent sham. It may be that is
why they chose it; but even the genuine Mareschal Neil rose, more than all
others put together, is used at funerals. Its very odor is suggestive of the tomb.
Its yellow color reminds you of blight anil decay. It is not suggestive of purity
and life ; it is not suggestive of economy and thrift, but it may be entirely appro-
priate for a political funeral.
When I see an old man with one of these badges of mental weakness on I
feel that the friends of Democracy may yet be anxious for the future of man-
kind. When I see a young man with this reminder of apathy and stagnation on
his bi'east I feel that he is not animated by a love of sterling merit, but of mere-
tricious ornament; that he is not eager to make public office a public trust, but
to bow down to luxuries and mere respectability, and to ignore the teachings of
experience in selecting public officers, and to treat his vote like a toy, a mere
plaything of fancy. But I thank God that there are enough sober and serious
men — hard-working men to whom taxes are a burden and a menace — that will
have none of it, and that will wisely choose a Mayor on his record rather than
on his personal beauty and luxurious adornments. Let an advocate of bonds,
debts, and extravagance bedeck himself until he is finer than Solomon in all his
glory. Let him choose a nosegay for his own crest and for his luxurious friends.
But let the toiling masses, who want no debts and no bonds, choose for their
Mayor a plain man of thrift and economy.
As I have said before, I freely grant Mr. Jacob's honesty and his captivating
address, but that is not enough. There are thousands upon thousands of honest
men in our factories and stores who are good men, and yet would not be able to
manage a city. That is a task few men cau perform. As I have pointed out, I
have two great objections to Mr. Jacob : First, he is unskillful and extravagant ;
MR. McDERMOTT'S SPEECH.
secondly, he pays too little attention to the strict limitations imposed upon him
by the charter and ordinances.
In the new charter it is provided that no policemen or firemen or other
public officers shall be removed for political causes ; that so long as such an
officer is faithful to his trust he shall have a right to his political preferences;
that public office is a public trust, and not the private patrimony of Mr. Jacob
or of any other man; and yet, with that charter staring him in the face — with
that charter before him which lie will have to take an oa:h to uphold — Mr. Jacob
has boldly said again and again on the stum™ that, if he be elected he will turn
out hundreds of men as honest as he is, and as much entitled to their political
preferences as he is.
On last Wednesday evening, as appears from the Courier-Journal of Thurs-
dty morning, he said that for over two thousand years the saying had come down
to us, "He who is not for me is against me." He said that this rule must apply
now, and that those who oppose him would be thrown out, and that the first to
go would be Maj. Hughes. In other words, he plainly believes that he has a
right to ignore the charter; that the offices, during' his term, are merely like his
private property which he may use to reward his friends and to punish his ene-
mies. Such a doctrine is preposterous to every patriotic and thoughtful man.
It may be satisfactory to the men hanging about I ifth anil Jefferson streets from
morning to night, like buzzards hovering over carrion. That motley crew shows
us what sort of men expect to become policemen and firemen under him. Go
there and see some of his supporters bedecked with his badge, anil say whether
you would be willing to trust the lives of your wives and children to their keep-
ing. When you see them you will think that an army of tramps lias swooped
down on us, and that your only safe refuge must be in the woods or in heaven.
A few years ago when the Democrats of the city were trying to elect a Dem-
ocratic member of the Sinking Fund iu the place of Major Wm. Tillman, a
Republican, the Mayor of the city stalked into the Council Chamber, and while
Mr. Henry S. Tyler was standing in his place as President of the Board of Com-
mon Council, and was about to adjourn that body in order that it might meet
again, according to its own resolution, and might still maintain the Council's
undoubted right to elect the members of the Sinking Fund, Mr. Jacob walked
up to the President's desk and sought by personal violence to drag Henry S. Tyler
down and to adjourn the Council until the next month, which would be after the
time within which the General Council, as the representatives of the people, could
elect members of the Sinking Fund. Mr. Jacob wanted to enable the Sinking
Fund Commissioners to do as they had done for many years past, that is to re-elect
hi> friend, Maj. Wm. Tillman, Cashier of the late lamented Falls City Bank.
By the action of Mr. Jacob, which the Court of Appeals of your State has
said was contrary to law, Maj. Wm. Tillman remained a Sinking Fund Coiu-
misioner until he chose to resign. Like Cromwell, the Mayor of the city tried
to over-awe the Legislative Department of the city. He tried by violence to
prevent Henry S. Tyler from doing his duty; but Henry S. Tyler showed them
plainly enough that nobody can keep him from discharging his duty as he under-
stands it. Mr. Jacob did not then believe that Democratic principles should
have anything to do with the selection of municipal officers. To-day he is a
candidate before the Democrats asking a nomination as a Democrat on a Demo-
cratic platform. The Courier-Journal and Times on Saturday, October 26,
1889, censured his high-handed proceedings in the most severe words. The
former said: "Notwithstanding the revolutionary action of the Mayor in
attempting to* adjourn the Board of Aldermen Thursday evening, there was a
joint meeting of the Board of Couneilnien and six of the Aldermen last night,
at which Mr. Otter, the Democratic nominee, was elected Sinking Fund Com-
MR. MeDERMOTT'S SPEECH.
missioner to succeed Maj. Tillman, Republican. There was an exciting scene
when, in spite of the fact that the lower board voted to adjourn to meet October
21st, the Mayor made an effort to usurp both the powers of that body and its
President and declare it adjourned to meet November 7th. President Tyler,
however, knew his rights and maintained them, and the Council, in accordance
with its own will, stands adjourned to October 31st."
The Evening Times in big black letters said :
CZAR JACOB FAILS TO BULLDOZE LOUIS-
Autocratic Action Meeting Deter-
mined and Effective Resistance.
President Tyler Makes Himself Master of a
Dramatic Situation, and Backed by
Right and Law Overrides Officious
A Most Important Question Settled in a manner
Satisfactory, whether the Mayor of a City is
Larger than the People who created
Him. Democracy will not Down I
I am opposed to Mr. Jacob, not because I have any objections to him person-
ally, but because I dislike his well-known record as Mayor, his bonds and debts,
his extravagance and waste due not to a willful desire to despoil you of your
property but from an inability to manage successfully your public affairs; and
because he too often refuses to observe strictly the charter and ordinances of
the city. I am for Mr. Tyler because he has lived within his income, he has
kept his pledges, he has left no debt, while he has well maintained the public
service. He has kept our streets cleaner than ever before ; he has reconstructed
them from the ordinary taxes ; he has set apart a reasonable tax for the making
of parks, and, in a few words, he has conducted our business affairs on business
principles. Tn a contest like this I can not understand how any public-spirited,
disinterested citizen, looking solely at the city's good, can have any doubt as to
his duty or can fail to have the courage to vote according to his convictions.
When Henry of Navarre headed his men before his memorable battle at Ivry
he did not put upon his crest any bauble or apy mere nosegay — he did not bid
them think of him as one who was usually bedecked with roses as he capered
nimbly in some lady's chamber — but he said : " Soldiers, in to-morrow's battle, if
you should lose your standard, follow my white plume; it will lead you to a
glorious victory." So Henry S.. Tyler, unpretentious, but of sterling merit, has
unfolded the pure white banner of reform, and under that he seeks to lead the
friends of economy and thrift, of freedom from debt, and low taxes, to a well-
deserved and glorious victory on the 12th of September. That he will be
elected triumphantly I have not the shadow of a doubt; and when he has been
MR. McDERMOTT'S SPEECH. 29
I trust his motto will be, not to turn from the public service men merely because
they failed to be at his beck and call, and to humble themselves in the dust
to gratify his inordinate ambition, but that he will seek to select men
for the public service without regard to their actions in this canvass, and if
necessary will choose even outside his ranks those who will serve the people best.
I am sure that is his wish, and I believe you will heartily say with me this night,
" Success attend him ! "
This time last year, fellow-citizens, I was speaking here and in Massachusetts
for low taxes and Grover Cleveland. The greatest claim of Cleveland to the
respect of the people is that he never disregarded the law ; that he has curtailed
extravagance and has declared for low, straight-forward taxes and against debts,
bonds, and special privileges. He has declared for the poor tax-payers, for the
humble citizens that bear most of the burdens. He is the very opposite of Mr.*
Jacob. Mr. Cleveland does not think a man "progressive" who disregards the
law, and piles up taxes and bonds on his successors and the people. Cleveland
is no holiday statesman. He is not ostentatious in his luxuries and in his personal
adornment. He is a plain, practical man that lives within his income, and knows
no higher honor than to observe faithfully the laws he has sworn to uphold.
Think of those qualities of Mr. Cleveland. Are they not the very qualities
shown by Henry S. Tyler? Is he not practical rather than showy:' Does not
he observe the law as he finds it? Is he not abused for his careful economies as
Cleveland was abused by Republicans for his careful economies?
Again, did Cleveland say a year ago that he, if elected, would punish every
man against him — that the test of fitness for office was not to be honesty, fidelity,
and capacity, but merely devotion to him? Would he, against the plain letter
of the law, declare that he would punish public officers and their wives and chil-
dren to gratify his anger or personal ambition? Mr. Jacob says he will turn out
all against him ! The charter says that this shall not be done. Mr. Tyler, a few
evenings ago, said upon the stump that he would not turn out a man because he
was for Mr. Jacob. When he was elected Mayor in 1890, Mr. Tyler retained on
the police force all the good men — even large numbers who had bitterly fought
hi in. Which of the two characters ought to be preferred, the one who declares
he will obey the law in letter and spirit, or the one who declares in advance that
he will trample it under foot?
You will decide, fellow-citizens — on your consciences, I hope, you will
decide — for your ow T n sake, for your children's sake, and for the sake of this fair
city, in favor of Heury S. Tyler, as you decided for Grover Cleveland. We
have no right in a democratic country to treat our votes like a toy, like some-
thing of trivial importance. We are under a solemn duty to vote con-
scientiously — to vote for the best man, not to vote merely for an acquaintance,
or a friend, or a " nice gentlemau," because he is polite to us, or because we
admire his superficial qualities. Conscience is often tricked or stifled — men try
to find excuses for avoiding a plain duty and for doing the wrong thing on
flimsy pretexts ; but every conscientious vote will be cast for Henry S. Tyler.
The only shield of the poor man is his vote. He is faithless to himself and his
children — he invites wrong, poverty, and hard times whenever he votes for an
extravagant and unthrifty Mayor. Every sensible poor man will vote for Tyler.
Poor and rich alike have found him able and willing to give them an economical,
clean, business-like administration, and he will be given the single indorsement
Louisville, Ky., August 24, 1893.
Hon. E. J. McDep.mott.
Dear Sir : Below I give you some comparisons of the relative coot of streets built by Mr.
Charles D. Jacob and Mr. Henry S. Tyler: «■•*
Cost of granite streets per square of 100 superficial feet, as per contracts let under Mr. Jacob,
with broken stone for foundation :
Cost of granite blocks $23 20
Cost of work of contractors 10 11
Total cost of one square $33 31
Cost of granite streets on concrete foundation :
Cost of granite blocks $23 20
Cost of work of contractors 13 90
Total cost of one square $37 10
Cost of granite streets per square of 100 superficial feet, as per contracts let by Mr. Tyler, with
broken stone foundation :
Cost of granite blocks $21 68
Cost of work of contractors 7 50
Total cost of one square $29 18
Cost of granite street on concrete foundation :
Cost of granite blocks $21 68
Cost of work of contractors 8 75
Total cost of one square $30 43
Difference in cost of streets built by Mr. Tyler on broken stone foundation is $4.13.
Difference in cost on concrete foundation built by Mr. Tyler is $6.67 per square less than those
built by Mr. Jacob.
During Mr. Tyler's administration there have been but two granite streets built on broken
stone foundation, and the balance on concrete foundation, while almost every street built by Mr.
Jacob was built on broken stone foundation.
The cost of asphalt paving with a five-year guarantee under Mr. Jacob's administration was
$83.33 per square of 100 superficial feet, or gay a block of 420 feet long and 36 feet wide will cost
The cost of vitrified brick paving with five-year guarantee under Mr. Tyler's administratiomis
$17.25 per square of 100 superficial feet, the cost of the same block is $2,608.20.
Difference in favor of brick is $2,431.30. or 48 per cent less than asphalt.
Now then, after the contract time of the asphalt expires, the cost of repairing the street is 10
cents per square yard per year of all the asphalt laid on the street, whether the company repain
one yard or one thousand yards, therefore the cost of maintaining the asphalt for five years longei
on one block of street is $832.60.
Table of cost of an asphalt pavement:
Original cost of construction $5,039 50
Cost of repairs for 1st 5 years 832 60
2d " 832 60
" " 3d " 832 60
4th " 832 60
Cost of an asphalt block for 25 years $8,369 90
And then you have an old worn out asphalt pavement on hand.
Table of cost of vitrified brick, assuming that 50 per cent of the brick will be replaced every five
Cost of original construction $2,008 20
Cost of repairs for 1st 5 years 756 00
2d " 756 00
3d " 756 00
4th •■ 756 00
Cost of brick pavement at the end of 25 years $5,632 20
Or a difference of $2,737.70 in favor of brick, which is home material and home labor.
Ciias. V. Mehler,
Louisville, Ky., August 24, 1893.
Hon. E. J. McDermott.
!>• 'ir Sir : Below please find statement showing cost of reconstructing streets with granite and
asphalt under Mr. Jacob's past administration as compared with reconstructing granite and brick
Btreelfl under Mr. Tyler's administration.
Streets reconstructed by Mr. Jacob:
6.98 miles of granite, costing $715,055 64
\^ 3.78 miles of asphalt, costing 401,621 04
^^ 10.76 miles of streets costing $1,116,576 58
^Jr Granite streets cost $102,44:! 48 per mile.
0^ Asphalt streets cost 106,222 50 per mile.
Average cost of streets built by Mr. Jacob 103,771 05 per mile.
Streets reconstructed by Mr. Tyler:
4.55 miles of granite, costing $206,266 03
3.10 miles of brick, costing 231,880 79
.178 miles of asphalt, costing 12,495 J:!
.136 miles of bowlders, costing 2,959 26
7.954 miles of streets, costing $353,511 51
Granite streets cost $45,311 21 per mile.
Brick streets cost 42,545 41 per mile.
Asphalt streets cost 70,200 00 per mile.
Yours very respectfully,
Chas. V. Mehler,
COMPARISON BETWEEN THE TAX BILLS OP ME. JACOB AND MR. TYLER.
Bonds of 1883
House of Refuge-
Total Tax Rate .
17 $2 17 $2 17
Mr. Jacob in December, 1890, Fixed the Tax Rate for 1891 at $2.17.
The Tax Rate for 1891 was $2 17, less 21* for New Streets, leaving $1 95*
Tie Tax Rate for 1892 was $2.17, less 231 for Streets, Sewers, and Parks.
^"leaving : 1 90*
The Tax Rate for 1893 was $2.17, less 23* for Streets, Sewers, Parks, and
15 for Jacob'e Bonds, leaving 1 74*
Average Tax Rate under Mr. Tyler when items have been deducted for
which Mr. Jacob had no levy $1 86 >
Average Tax Rate under Mr. Jacob 2 03*
Statement Showing the Total Rbckii-ts of the Administrations of
Mr. Jacob and Mr. Tyler.
1888 $1,417,411 09 1891 $1,679,863 48
1889 1,403.525 75 1892 1,786,999 21
1890 1,454,667 86 1893/f 1,817,505 16
Mun. Bonds 1,500,000 00
Total, 3 years $5,776,505 30
Total 3 years $5,233,360 85
Mr. Jacob's Receipts, 3 years $5,775,505 30
Mr. Tyler's Receipts, 3 years 6,233,360 85
Jacob received more than Tyler $642,144 46
Mr. Jacob's indebtedness September 1, 1890. at the end of his term was $346,363.17, which
should be added to his gross receipts of $5,775,505.30, making his total expenditures $6,121,868.47.
TAX RATE SINCE 1873.
Average for Reed, $2.27 •
Average for Tyler, $2.17
Mr. Jacob and the Council in December, 1890, before Mr. Tyler became Mayor, fixed the tax
rate for 1891 at $2.17. Hence Mr. Jacob was the man that raised the tax rate to $2.1 7.